With only three weeks to go, it’s all starting to feel a bit imminent. There is a seemingly never-ending ‘to do’ list of things which need to be sorted out before we go, but we’re crossing them off one by one. We have a very macho-looking (and ever-so-slightly phallic) matt black towbar on the car, the packing list is made and only covers one side of A4(!), I have unearthed my tent for the last 12 days wild camping in the north of Scotland and found my trekking poles. I’ve checked my driving licence to make sure I am entitled to drive the car whilst towing and discovered that I am in fact entitled to drive vehicles of up to 12 metric tons – bonus! I’m happy with my new boots, and I have acquired some very cheap leggings and loose tshirts on ebay which will be perfect for everyday walking. We’re arranging for someone to keep an eye on the house if we can’t rent it out, and to water the plants so that not more than half of them die before we get back. I’m warning my solicitors that I can’t take on new work and discussing with colleagues about passing cases on to them while I am gone, as well as desperately trying to catch up on outstanding billing, complete my VAT return, and make sure all my papers are in Chambers and not at home. So now it’s really just a question of washing all the clothes, packing up our kitbags, and making sure we don’t forget anything too vital like wellies or plasters. I need to remember that we will not in fact be miles from civilisation, even if in my London-centric way it feels like that!
I’m increasingly excited about doing LEJOG, and find that I am thinking more and more about how it will feel to get up every day and simply walk, with nothing else expected of me than completing that day’s allotted distance. I know that there will be days (weeks? months?) when it will be hard to face leaving the caravan in the morning, and almost certainly some days (hopefully not weeks or months) of trudging through the mud in driving horizontal rain, swatting midges away, cursing walking and my sore feet, and wishing I had never embarked on the whole thing. But at this stage, just the prospect of hours of solitary walking each day, listening to the wind and watching the ground pass under my feet, feels like an unbelievable luxury.